Colonial silk gown donated to Smithsonian

It’s actually been on loan at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History for almost a hundred years, but the descendants of Eliza Lucas Pinckney have now donated it to the museum.

Pinckney’s dress is an excellent example of a typical sack-back dress from the period, and it is only one of two in the Smithsonian collection that has both the original matching stomacher and petticoat. A sack, or robe à la française, has flowing pleats that fall from the shoulders, making the gown appear to be unfitted in the back. A stomacher is a decorative piece that covers the front of the corset, where the gown’s bodice edges were intentionally separated.

The dress is notable not just for its beauty and rarity, but also because its original wearer, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, was an immensely successful business woman who ran her father’s plantations from the age of 16 and pretty much single-handedly provided South Carolina with the cash crop that sustained it in the decades between the decline of rice and the advent of cotton: indigo.

The silk threads woven into the golden gown were spun from silk worms she herself bred, in fact, in one of her many successful agricultural experiments.

Share

RSS feed

2 Comments »

Comment by Abbigale
2011-05-05 19:52:47

:angry: Not enough info!

 
Comment by Sharon F. Corey
2012-09-08 08:27:45

I agree – this is not enough information on this extraordinary woman. You can find out more at

World History Connected http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/7.1/martin.html

Plus, at Internet Archive you can read the Full Text of several books about Eliza
http://archive.org/search.php?query=Eliza%20Lucas%20Pinckney%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts

The South Carolina Historical Society published one of their magazines entirely on Eliza Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s Family in Antigua, 1668-1747 Carol Walter Ramagosa, The South Carolina Historical Magazine, July 1998, Vol. 99, No. 3. See this page for ordering their back issues
http://www.southcarolinahistoricalsociety.org/?page_id=23

And, you can purchase an entire book on this subject titled: The Letterbook of Eliza Lucas Pinckney 1739-1762 here or another bookstore of your choice
http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/books/1997/3186.html

PS – You can also view another one of her dresses at the Charleston Museum
http://charlestonmuseum.tumblr.com/post/15618476027

 
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI

;) :yes: :thanks: :skull: :shifty: :p :ohnoes: :notworthy: :no: :love: :lol: :hattip: :giggle: :facepalm: :evil: :eek: :cry: :cool: :confused: :chicken: :boogie: :blush: :blankstare: :angry: :D :) :(

Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Navigation

Search

Archives

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Other

Add to Technorati Favorites

Syndication